Working Together Without All Doing the Same

4 Critical areas every leader needs to think through

Aligning is all about together. It’s making adjustment according to a line. I like the way Dr. Henry Cloud describes it as “getting everyone and everything moving in the same direction” and I would add “within the same boundaries.”

That is, to be together in line with the direction set. This is not an easy task to accomplish.Often the scene is more characteristic of the proverbial “herding cats syndrome.” Everyone is moving but not together.

To get there, four critical areas need to be audited

1. Thinking - This speaks to understanding, perspective, and attitudes. Why the area of thinking? Because one’s behavior flows from one’s values which flow from one’s thinking. We filter everything through our paradigm lenses.

How we think about things shapes our responses. And we can outwardly say one thing but have a completely different perspective inwardly. The internal thoughts always win out.

Ask - is there negativity? Learned helplessness? Confusion? Silos? Or is there a “let’s find a way together” attitude?

2. Actions - Let me quote Dr. Henry Cloud again here on this point. He describes this as:

“right things done in the right way in the right time that build momentum and get results.”

This is not mere activity or busyness. The operative words are “right” and “momentum” and “results.”

What actions can you and your team actually control and that gain movement and get results?

3. Resources - What are the materials and tools needed for success? Do you and your team have everything you need to accomplish your goal? Are the ingredients available? What is needed for success? When are they needed? What are their costs? How can they be secured? Who will take responsibility for them?

4. People - This is getting the right people into the right responsibilities. Yes, people are resources, too. However, I like to separate them out because of the significance of each. Things and people are both needed.

Here, this is not just about getting people’s names on the organizational chart. The key is the adjective “right.” Who are the right ones who can make it happen and actually drive results? It’s not so much the what is needed but who is needed.

These need to be carefully considered and reviewed periodically. Few things are more potent than a team moving together toward their goal.

Which of these four critical areas is a challenge for you?

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